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eBay Publishes its Diversity Numbers

March 24, 2017, 6:16 PM UTC

EBay issued its 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Report yesterday, their first since the company spun off PayPal in 2015.

The numbers are consistent with what we’ve seen from other large, global tech companies: Their total workforce is 52% white, 40% Asian, 4% Hispanic/Latinx, 2% black and 1% other or mixed race respectively.

So, they’ve got some work to do.

The company has laid out a three-pronged strategy, that focuses on workforce – who and how they hire; workplace – what it’s like to work at the company; and marketplace – making sure diverse sellers, products and perspectives are succeeding on the platform. The entire report is worth a read. You’ll see some familiar names as key partners, like Code2040 who is helping them with their newly revamped intern program, and Unitive, a hiring platform which helps eliminate bias in recruiting.

But it’s also valuable in part because it reflects the voice and vision of Damien Hooper-Campbell, eBay’s first Chief Diversity Officer, who started last July.

This just-posted video of Hooper-Campbell’s star turn at the First Round Capital CEO Summit shows what a compelling figure he is. He takes the stage and leads the crowd through a series of diversity interactions with an amiable authority that tends to weaken the resistance of even the most skeptical leader. When I asked him what made him ready for the job besides his resume – he’s worked at Uber, Google, and Goldman Sachs, among others – he answered without hesitation. “Being raised by a strong woman,” he said. “Diane Winston was a single mother who instilled in me the confidence to be okay being who I am no matter how different I am.” His life experience is also at work, citing his Guyanese father, growing up in racially polarized areas like Chicago’s South Side and with family in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant, and thriving as one of eight black students in a Fairfield, Conn. county high school. (He was student body president, though he’s not bragging.) “I’m comfortable with being a minority and helping other people see things differently.”

That’s part of the energy he brought to the task of figuring out what shape eBay was in and where it needed to go next. “What you saw in the video is pretty much how I kicked off my listening tour,” he says of his first three months at eBay.

I caught up with Hooper-Campbell by phone after the report went live and he did not disappoint. Click through for my conversation with him and more analysis on the report, courtesy of raceAhead team members Stacy Jones and Grace Donnelly.

Have a boldly inclusive weekend, everyone.

On Point

The world's greatest leaders are diverse and ready to change the worldFortune's annual list of the World's Greatest Leaders is out, and it is a treasure trove of diverse figures, highly effective leaders all. There are plenty of surprises but here are some folks near the top of the list: philanthropist Melinda Gates, film director and screenwriter Ava Duvernay, Tsai Ing-Wen, Taiwan's first female president, and athlete, philanthropist and megabrand LeBron James.Fortune

What is Silicon Valley for?
This is the fundamental question of this powerful essay from Wired’s Emily Dreyfuss, who pulls no punches with her assessment that tech titans looking to solve big problems - like death - are looking for longevity in all the wrong places. Life extension, disease eradication, and mortality have received attention and funding from many bold-faced names, like Zuckerberg, Thiel, and Brin. “But over the past two decades, deaths attributed to inequality, isolation, and addiction have risen for both men and women without a college education in the US,” she writes. Where are the rich techies flocking in to solve these problems? “Are they really trying to extend everyone’s lives? Or just those of people already doing great?”

Mortality rates for white people without college degrees have soared in the last decade
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'Hillbilly Elegy' author quits Peter Thiel, hooks up with Steve Case, and moves to Ohio to look for venture deals
J.D. Vance’s goal is to find business opportunities in places that get very little money or attention, which seems a better fit with Case’s Revolution LLC, which currently has over $1 billion in capital for companies at different stages of development, many in overlooked communities. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy, an unflinching look at poverty and despair in Kentucky and Ohio, became a best seller last year. Vance told the Wall Street Journal that he isn’t focused on specific industry sectors or geographies other than the “47 states” that receive 20% of the nation’s venture commitments.
Wall Street Journal

Uber’s Travis Kalanick met with Reverend Jesse Jackson to make a diversity pledge
The meeting was yesterday, some two months after the civil rights leader first encouraged the company to release their diversity data. "Creating a more diverse and inclusive company is a top priority and it starts with releasing our demographic data, which we will do very soon," Kalanick said in a statement emailed to Fortune following the meeting. Jackson has been pushing the issue of disclosure in tech for years. Uber’s diversity report will come two years after other tech companies began the practice.

Special report: Black girls and women are going missing everywhere
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State Farm has a new ad out that is guaranteed to make you cry
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The Woke Leader

To be a professional of color means sometimes people think you’re the waiter
Rigoberto González, an award-winning poet and author, calls it “the bittersweet club.” It’s the one where you are highly accomplished and well regarded, but then something happens that reminds you that to the majority culture, you’re just as likely to be the hired help. It was at a dinner in his honor that he was first mistaken for a waiter on the way to the men’s room. “Over the years I had heard about such encounters from mentors and friends about that moment of honest misunderstanding or, at worse, of stereotypical assumptions about race and ethnicity,” he writes. (And yes, we do share these stories when we’re together.)  “The hard lesson is that respectability doesn’t protect us, and neither does being a part of a liberal space; being an academic or an artist doesn’t spare us the indignity of being devalued.”
Los Angeles Times

Changing corporate culture in Korea by changing the way you address people
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University of Manitoba


We're in a political campaign, and the candidate is Uber and the opponent is an asshole named Taxi.
—Travis Kalanick